Hey mom! Your crushing it at life, changing the world, you brushed your teeth today, knocking out meetings, FINALLY getting a consultation to get your wisdom teeth removed, listening to your old school rap radio station then you get a phone call that your kid is sick and needs to be picked up from school. Of course he does!
I’m not going to lie I wouldn’t be the first person you would call when you need to be nurtured, It’s not something that I do naturally. If my kids fall down and they come crying to me I’ll make sure bone isn’t showing, give them a band aid and tell them to walk it off. However, I do admire the women (probably most of you reading this) who are nurturers.
On this particular day I was driving to an oral surgeon appointment so they could terrify me by explaining the process of removing my wisdom teeth (I am strangely scared of the dentist, on the fear scale it goes: shark, cockroaches, clowns, dentist). I got there 30 minutes early and I was excited to read a book…in silence, and as I was sitting in the parking lot my phone rang, low and behold my caller I.D. said the kids’ school name.
“Hi Raema!” (I get called a lot so we are on a first name basis here). “I have Asher in my office for the second time today and his temp is going up so we need you to come get him please.”
As I stare at the building I am supposed to be walking into I respond, “OK, I’ll be right there!”
I make the drive to pick Asher up from school and I am trying to figure out how I am going to juggle picking him up and turning around and going back in time for my appointment. I’m a problem solver, it’s how my brain works so I began to problem solve:
He could come in and wait with me then I’ll take him home.
Or…do I just re schedule and stay home with him…
I have errands to run, I guess I could take him with me.
Is he old enough for me to leave him home alone? I’m sure he would be ok…
I hope I don’t catch what he has, ain’t nobody got time to get sick! I better drink some emer-gen-c like now.
Then I surprised myself and silently asked God what I should do. When a wrench is thrown into my scheduled day, usually I will just stress myself out and try and get everything done and make everyone miserable in the process. I heard God say, “go home, watch a movie with him and cuddle.” You know how I knew that was God? Because he said the word “cuddle”. I NEVER say that word it’s a close second to my least favorite word (take some guesses on what my number one least favorite is…) Then my brain had to process what God just said and my right eyelid started twitching.
But I have stuff to do, I have an appointment to get to, I have work I need to do when I get home, I wanted to read a book, I need to buy milk! What if my wisdom teeth magically grow in overnight and mess my teeth up even more than they are now?
God said, “If you take care of him, I will take care of you.” Then He dropped the mic and walked away.
Man! What a lesson I learned in the 15 minute drive it took me to get to his school. We can be so busy knocking out tasks, building dreams and careers, doing STUFF and filling our day with so many things that we can sometimes forget that our first priority is our kids. Look, I’m all for building and dreaming and making stuff happen but we have to be careful that it’s not at the expense of the health of our families.
I am NOT saying that we need to neglect our own mental and physical health, if we do then our family suffers. What I am saying is when we are putting together a schedule we should ask God what He wants us to do and create a life that has some margin built into it. Do we really need to do all of those errands in one day? Because honestly there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. Is there a way we could bundle some things so we don’t have to make a bazillion trips with our kids in tow? The fastest way, for me personally, to get irritated is to bring all of my kids to 8 different places because I can’t see any other way I could do it on another day.
The process of taking all them on errands goes a little like this:
Listen to them fight about where they are going to sit while they pile into the car,
fight while we drive to the location,
get everyone out of the car,
do a head count 93 times before we get into the store because I have some kids who wander,
listen to them fight about who is going to push the cart or sit in the cart (all of them are too big to sit in the cart but they will fight about it every single time),
tell them “no we aren’t buying you that” “we just had Christmas you don’t need anything else under the sun” “that’s not even real food and I’m certain you will die if you eat that”,
stand in the wine isle deciding how many bottles I should buy,
then the ever dreaded check out lane where they intentionally put everything your kids wants but doesn’t need at child eye level…then do that 7 more times.
By the time I get home I’m angry and contemplating selling a child on Etsy. I haven’t done a good job creating a life with margin built into it. It’s ok to say, “no, I’m not going to do all of that today because I know how frustrated/irritated/angry I get when I do”. And it’s ok to stop whatever empire building task you are doing and “cuddle” with your child. If we are diligent to raise our kids and train them up in the way they should go God is going to take care of us. Our dreams, our goals, our future.
So, when I picked Asher up from school I had already decided in my heart that I was going to clear my day and schedule him into it. We went home, I asked him if he wanted to watch a movie in mom and dads room and you would have thought he won the lottery. We sat there for 90 minutes, just us and we cuddled. Whatever I had on my calendar I thought was an immediate need, wasn’t. I know God will take care of everything when my priorities are in order and that's time invested wisely.
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